When the winds of change are blowing, some people are building shelters, and others are building windmills.  Chinese Proverb

I recently read Tools and Weapons: The Promise and Peril of The Digital Age by Brad Smith, Microsoft’s President. Smith discusses the challenges and opportunities posed by the digital age and artificial intelligence on a variety of fronts. In one chapter, Smith discusses one of my a favorite subjects: the opportunities that data and data analytics provide for improved decision making.


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Last week, I talked about why social media for lawyers is essential. In this post, I want to talk about the practical: what has worked for me in using social media to develop business.

How to Use Social Media

When you use social media, you are creating an image of who you are as a person and your brand. First and foremost, that image must be authentic and consistent with who you are as a person. Then, what you do on social media must be compatible with that image.


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Let’s not forget the reason to have a social media presence and network is to create opportuinites for real meetings. To form human relationships.
Since 2013, Consultancy Good2bSocial has released an annual social media report card for law firms. The Report reveals law firms’ social media reach, engagement, and marketing performance.
This year’s Report, released last week, gives DLA Piper top marks. Also getting high marks: White & Case, Norton Rose Fulbright, Baker McKenzie, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. These firms all have comprehensive strategies for using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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“The Best Innovation Tool is Continuous Learning”

Dennis Kennedy recently published a new book entitled Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law: A Practical Guide for Law Firms, Law Departments and Other Legal Organizations.  In essence, it’s a primer and “how-to” on innovation in law and generally.

Kennedy is well known as an astute legal commentator and thinker. Perhaps that’s because he has worn so many hats during his career: in-house lawyer, technologist, author, and adjunct professor, to name a few. As he puts it, “innovation is a visible thread that runs through my career.” (By way of disclosure, I have known Dennis for several years and, like many others, turn to him often for advice and guidance. He never disappoints).
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It a well-known phenomenon that unlike every other business and profession, lawyers avoid asking what their clients think of the services they have provided like the plaque. It’s almost like we fear the answer. And maybe we should.

Now, at least, thanks to Ari Kaplan, Relativity, and FTI, there are answers to questions about what clients want from lawyers and whether lawyers are providing it. And these answers are a little scary. 
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Last week, the annual Clio Conference was held in San Diego. Attended by approximately 2500 lawyers, technologists, and Clio customers, it has appropriately become the go-to legal tech conference. Part seminar, part marketing, and part pure celebration, it is almost everything you want a conference to be.

Clio provides cloud practice management programs mainly to small and mid-size law firms. Also, through partnerships with countless providers, it can offer a broad array of other products to customers. At its Conference, Clio releases a valuable Legal Trends Report, which looks at the practical and business trends of its law firm customers and others.

The Conference is chock full of useful information and included keynotes from such noteworthy writers and pundits as Daniel Pink, Shaka Senghor, and Glenn Greenwald. As my friend Joe Patrice wrote in Above the Law recently, “it might be fair to say that the show is about the philosophy of all legal technology and how its product fits into that…”


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Once upon a time,  red and white barber poles were used to identify barbers who also practiced  medicine on the side, since there was little money to be made from practicing medicine. The red and white barber pole had its origins in the old notion: “healing whatever ails you”; the red color actually represented blood shed during bloodletting.

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The partners of the Georgia firm Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers had a dilemma. Their firm was the largest litigation only firm in Georgia and one of the biggest in the south. But over the past several years, the firm had grown topsy-turvy: it added 60 lawyers since 2017, had added practice areas, and brought in lots of laterals. But its website, marketing materials, and even logo hadn’t changed in years. For its marketing to be effective, a new approach was needed to define better who and what the firm is now versus several years ago. But how to get there?


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Earlier this month, the 2019 LexisNexis CounselLink Enterprise Legal Management Trend Report was released. This is the 7th year the Report, which looks at data from invoices of over $33 billion in legal spending processed through the CounselLink platform, was compiled and issued.

CounselLink is a cloud based legal management platform that provides work management, financial management, vendor management, and legal holds solutions for corporate legal departments. It offers analytics and benchmarking tools for evaluating invoices and fees.
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Technology can solve many practical problems we face as lawyers if we only will think about the problem and apply technology in innovative ways. This was recently brought home to me in a serendipitous conversation with a lawyer and an expert.

For many years, I was a mass tort lawyer, often defending cases involving a single incident with multiple injuries, property damage and fatalities.  A catastrophic fire. A deadly building collapse. A massive explosion.

In most cases, the entities who end up being defendants in the resulting litigation rarely know of their involvement or potential involvement until months or even years after the event occurs. The practical result: those entities do not have the opportunity to have their experts inspect the scene and do a critical scene evaluation while the evidence is fresh and the least disturbed.
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